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Ex ante conditionalities

Ex ante conditionalities (ExAC) are one of the key elements of the cohesion policy reform for 2014-20. They were introduced for the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI Funds) to ensure that the necessary conditions for the effective and efficient use of ESI Funds are in place.

These conditions are linked to:

  1. policy and strategic frameworks, to ensure that the strategic documents at national and regional level which underpin ESI Funds investments are of high quality and in line with standards commonly agreed by Member States at EU level;
  2. regulatory frameworks, to ensure that implementation of operations co-financed by ESI Funds complies with the EU acquis;
  3. sufficient administrative and institutional capacity of public administration and stakeholders implementing the ESI Funds.

There are 7 general ExAC linked to the horizontal aspects of programme implementation and 29 thematic ExAC, which set out sector-specific conditions for relevant investment areas eligible for support under cohesion policy (investment priorities).

When ExAC were not fulfilled at the time of programme adoption, action plans were set out in operational programmes and the action plans were required to completed by end 2016.